USA-flag 420x470The US Consulate in Melbourne gathered representatives from Victorian LGBTI organisations for a roundtable discussion on Monday on issues facing LGBTI youth.

The consulate presented the event as part of the Obama administration and US Department of State’s ongoing commitment to LGBTI rights as a foreign policy cornerstone, and it follows an earlier panel discussion hosted by the consulate in June on LGBTI issues in Australia and the US.

Discussion during the roundtable was wide-ranging, with topics from funding for LGBTI organisations to Australia’s role in promoting human rights in other countries in the region and encouraging further law reform in the US.

Along with the Star Observer, organisations represented included Minus 18, Transgender Victoria, Safe Schools Coalition Victoria, Rainbow Labor, and a diverse range of other national and Victorian-based activism and advocacy groups.

“We were interested in learning more about initiatives and programs for LGBTI youth empowerment and equality that are already in place, and aspired to bring together representatives from a variety of organizations to determine the common areas with which we can intersect,” a spokesperson from the consulate told the Star Observer.

“It was an incredibly successful event, and a brilliant opportunity to meet with and learn about the people that are driving some of the leading programs for LGBTI equality here in Australia. We are so thankful to everyone who attended, and look forward to further discussion and potential collaboration in the future.”

The US’s first openly gay ambassador to Australia John Berry was unanimously confirmed by the US Senate last week.

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